Educational Psychology Service (Aylesbury and Amersham)
The Educational Psychology Service (EPS) is a targeted and specialist service provided by the Local Authority to identify and support children and young people aged 0 to 25 with complex, significant and persistent difficulties related to their development and/or learning.
EPS work with teachers, parents/carers, educational and other professionals in order to identify and meet children's complex and persistent Special Educational Needs (SEN).
Who to contact
Where to go
- Buckinghamshire Council
Walton Street Offices
- HP20 1UA
- Geographic Area Covered
- Amersham and Aylesbury
Time / Date Details
- When is it on
- Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 5pm, Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm
- Time of day
- Cost Description
- Age Ranges
- 0 to 25 years
- Referral required
- Referral Details
The EPS is not currently able to accept direct referrals. EPs complete psychological advice as part of an Education, Health and Care Needs assessment as requested by the Local Authority. Some schools/settings have purchased time from the EPS Traded Service, work undertaken as part of this time is agreed in discussion with SENCos/Head teachers. Written consent is required before an EP can undertake any work with a young person.
Educational Psychologists (EPs) undertake a range of work aimed at promoting inclusion, psychological well-being and raising standards for children and young people aged 0 to 25 years, across the full range of abilities. The Buckinghamshire Council Educational Psychology Service (EPS) includes qualified EPs registered with the Health and Care Professions Council, trainee EPs on supervised placements, graduate psychology assistants and a management and leadership team.
We offer a consultation service to Buckinghamshire maintained schools, academies and specialist settings, for example, where learning and/or development is giving significant cause for concern despite early intervention. Parental consent is essential for our involvement. Agreement for involvement with children and young people is based on EPs’ professional judgement and consideration of agreed thresholds. Priorities are related to Buckinghamshire's Children and Young People’s Plan and Children’s Service Portfolio Plan objectives and targets.
Usually, all maintained schools, academies and specialist provision in Buckinghamshire have a named linked Educational Psychologist, who undertake high priority, core and statutory work, at no charge to the school. Due to low staff numbers the Service is unable, at present, to provide Link EP support directly to education settings. It is hoped that Link EP support to settings can be provided in the near future. The EPs provide consultation, assessment and intervention advice as well as targeted therapeutic intervention and specialist services. We will continue to respond immediately to requests for support following critical incidents affecting children or schools.
We have a statutory role in relation to SEND. We provide professional advice to the local authority under the Children and Families Act 2014 in relation to assessment of SEN, Annual Reviews and Tribunal appeals and contribute to decision-making panels. We also take the role of SEN Expert in Independent Review Panels for excluded pupils. We contribute to and advise the authority about research and evidence-based interventions and strategies.
- Contact Telephone
- 01296 383 219
- Contact Email
- Local Offer Links
Educational Psychology Service
- Local Offer Age Bands
16 to 18
12 to 15
19 to 25
2 to 4
0 to 1
8 to 11
5 to 7
- Needs Level
- Communication and Interaction
- Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties
- Cognition and Learning
- SEN Provision Type
- Universal service (No referral required)
General Local Offer Response
- What needs does your service or activity aim to meet for children and young people with SEND and their families?
EPS provides a consultation service focussed on the educational, emotional and social well-being needs of children and young people from birth to 25 years resident or attending early year’s settings, school, academies, free schools, FE colleges in Buckinghamshire. Consultation means that we work initially with the person who has concerns about a child or young person. Agreement for initial consultation will depend on whether a child’s needs are significant and/or complex, meet thresholds for involvement and have signed consent from parents. If involvement is not appropriate or agreed, EPs will signpost parents, teachers of young people to other sources of help and support.
- What outcomes does your service or activity aim to achieve for children and young people with SEND and their families?
EPs undertake assessment and provide psychological advice to the Local Authority about children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disability (SEND) whose needs are being assessed for High Needs Funding or Statutory Assessment under 1996 Education Act. EPs support schools/settings following Critical Incidents. Additional EP service is available for schools/settings wishing to purchase extra time. Parental consent is essential for individual casework or small group work. EPs can provide consultation, supervision and training for educational staff. Doctoral level research skills means EPs are able to help with evaluating outcomes and advise about evidence-based programmes. Some EPs have undertaken additional training to deliver therapeutic intervention such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Video Interaction Guidance or administer specialist assessment such as Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS). EPs have a wide range of multi-agency contacts and information and are able to signpost families where additional support is needed. EPs will help with referrals to health professionals or family support networks. The EPS website has links to other services.
- How can children and young people with SEND and their families start to use your service or activity?
The EPS is free at the point of delivery for CYP with complex and persistent needs which have not responded to intervention. Some schools have elected to purchase additional time from the EPS. Parental consent is essential before any individual casework is undertaken.
- How is your service or activity fully accessible to children, young people with SEND and their families, for example, facilities, support from staff?
EPs have training in eliciting the views of CYP and will include them in planning and decision making as appropriate. Sometimes, EPs will write letters or reports to CYP.
- How do you communicate with children, young people with SEND and their families?
EPs will use a range of communications – phone, email, letter. Initial contact is often by telephone and then direct meetings with parents. EPs will always involve parents in planning and decision making. EPs have skills in eliciting the views of children and young people and represent these in meetings or in reports. Following consultation meetings a written record or letter will be provided to indicate actions agreed and monitoring arrangements. Formal reports are written when required, for example for statutory assessment or Tribunal Appeals.
- What training have your staff and/or volunteers received to support children and young people with SEND and their families?
EPs have a first degree in Psychology, experience of applying psychology in their work with CYP, knowledge of safeguarding and SEND legislation and professional applied training to Doctorate level in Educational and Child Psychology. Some EPs have undertaken additional training, for example in Video Interaction Guidance, specialist therapeutic approaches, specialist assessment, particular areas of SEND. EPs are regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council www.hcpc-uk.org and are required by law to keep up to date with professional training and practice.
- What future plans does your service or activity have for developing its SEND provision, for example, training, facilities?
From September 2014 the EPS has provided Statutory support for children and young people aged 0 to 25 years old. The EPS is developing access for independent schools in the area. It is developing psychological intervention packages for delivery in schools and other community settings to support emotional well-being. A Traded EP service is available for schools and other settings who wish to purchase additional EP time. Schools are not permitted to pass costs onto parents.
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